Maple sea­son in full swing

Stanstead Journal - - FORUM - Vic­to­ria Vanier

Th­e­sap is fi­nally run­ning in the East­ern Town­ships and maple syrup pro­duc­ers have been busy, for the past week, mak­ing the world’s most de­li­cious sweet­ener. “The sap was run­ning just a lit­tle bit two week­ends ago; then it stopped. It started up again last Tues­day (April 1st) and it’s been run­ning ever since. On Sun­day it was very good,” said Stan­ley Holmes, of Barn­ston West.

At Holmhurst, the Holmes farm, the sap first ran three weeks ago but the qual­ity wasn’t there. “Of­ten that hap­pens at the be­gin­ning of the sea­son, the sap has the ‘gout de l’ecorce’. We let that run to clean the tub­ing out and it went on the ground,” said Mr. Holmes.

Weather al­ways has an ef­fect on the syrup and this year is no ex­cep­tion. “The first syrup that we made was a lit­tle harder to fil­ter, but it’s good now. The colour is a lit­tle darker but it has an aw­fully good fla­vor. Some of my neigh­bours also said that it has a lot of fla­vor,” said Mr. Holmes who re­cently shipped out one hun­dred cans to Fort St. John, Bri­tish Colom­bia. “That was go­ing to an old friend that I went to Coat­i­cook High School with six­ty­five years ago. He gets some ev­ery year for him­self and all his fam­ily.”

Mr. Holmes couldn’t re­mem­ber the maple sea- son ever start­ing this late but his wife, Joanne, could re­mem­ber it once start­ing in April. “We can read in my grandpa’s diary that bizarre weather was quite com­mon. When he bought this farm in the spring of 1897, they were mak­ing syrup on May 1st. But the next year, 1898, they were all done by the end of March. We should re­ally be ready for the sea­son in Fe­bru­ary, just to be on the safe side.”

Seen here at the launch of the Mem­phrem­a­gog Hospi­tal Foun­da­tion’s golf tour­na­ment are hon­orary pres­i­dent Car­mand Nor­mand, Foun­da­tion pres­i­dent Gilles Pouliot, or­ga­niz­ing com­mit­tee pres­i­dent An­nie-El­iz­a­beth Gi­rard, and Dr. Benoit Gre­nier.

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